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stuntdog

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PostSubject: Rise   Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:27 pm

New series from creator of Friday Nite Lights & Parenthood Jason Katims. Based off the book about real life teacher Lou Volpe.

Watched the 1st two episodes. Anyone else watching this?
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brdmom

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PostSubject: Re: Rise   Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:58 pm

I watched the first episode and found the premise so irritating - middle aged man who is doing a crappy job teaching decides he needs to have more meaning in his life (hey, how about becoming a better teacher?), so tells the principal he wants to run the drama program. Doesn't matter that he has no theater experience, it's what he WANTS and NEEDS to do. So, let's get rid of the Latina woman because she is "irritating" and give the guy the job. Really?? In 2018 that's our storyline?? I understand it is based on a true story (somewhat), but there are a lot of ways that could have been presented that didn't smack so much of white male privilege.

Sorry for the rant - don't know why this bothered me so much, but it just seems so tone deaf.
And then things like, why can't the football player be in musical? Because those are both time-consuming activities and no high school has kids doing both musicals and varsity sports. There's only so much time in the afternoon...

Geez, aren't you glad you asked? All that being said, I do have it recorded, and I may go ahead and watch the second episode and get sucked in. smile

But, stuntdog, what did you think? Did you enjoy it? Are you a theater person? Glee fan?
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gin
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PostSubject: Re: Rise   Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:49 pm

ah thank you for this review... I don't have to watch it yay
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davidalan

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PostSubject: Re: Rise   Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:52 pm

I watched the first two episodes. I like the kids more than the adults and wonder as with glee if the actual stage production wouldn't be better as a young actors' rep company or at least community theater. So far most of the kids in Rise are truer to me than the more adult looking kids in Glee but Glee was also pretty much a comedy whereas Rise so far is not. The adults in Rise are often not very interesting and sometimes are impeding the story.

I like the one kid Simon who is obviously gay but doesn't want to admit it but the other guy who will share a romantic moment in Spring Awakening sure does want him to admit it. I wish Simon's parents were less wooden because they stumble into conservative catholic caricatures more than as real people. I mean they are being presented as absolute idiots and automatically intolerant because y'all that kid is gay. That family storyline should be way tighter. I mean even conservative parents have moments of vulnerability and humanity.

As for Robbie the football theater kid, my nephew did a lot of stuff concurrently when in school and while it wasn't easy it was mostly manageable. However my impression of what a school system should be is that it should work out a way where Robbie can do both without all the hassle. Last I heard school was for kids and not for coaches or principals or even would-be theater directors. I liked the one football scene with his friend (Randall?) where the friend says there are scouts looking at me if you're not good I'm not good, and at least there was some honest fluent spontaneous interaction in terms of acting and theme. Where this show sometimes steps wrong is in all the points it has to make which makes the dialog feel more scripted than spoken.

The characters of the girls trouble me in that they're trapped in certain preconceived stereotypes as in bitchy or clingy or in love or helping. I appreciate them most when they're performing (minus the diva tirades of course). I did like the scene where Gwen responded to the director's words as to why this part and not that part was where she could shine and then she sang afterwards in a way that once more made me with that this all took place outside of a high school. The stuff with Gwen's family and Lillette's family just doesn't interest me as much. Both daughters should just tell their families to get the hell of the way.

Maashous, the homeless lighting behind the scenes personality, is intriguing in that he sees things that other don't. In a rep co. (or even in the school?) he'd be groomed as a future director. Right now there's this artificial story where since he's homeless he has to live at the director's house. I don't care if that all goes well or not both interpersonally and legally, because Maashous is now the most interesting person in that household and that should concern the story writers a lot.

What I wonder now is how many kids will have to move out of their difficult family houses and into the director's basement or some other houses willing to foster them because most of these kids are old enough to legitimately tell their parents no. I mean look at Simon and his parents. Really? An academy? Why don't you just send him to a gay conversion clinic? Or is this a semi-hidden euphemism?

I like the show. Otherwise I would comment this much. But it has some bugs to work out. Getting rid of most of the adults would certainly help.
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stuntdog

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PostSubject: Re: Rise   Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:09 am

I mostly agree with BA here. Mostly just wanna add: BARB sighting! tv
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davidalan

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PostSubject: Re: Rise   Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:15 pm

Again most of the strictly adult interactions annoyed me: it's just now their show. I did like Lou's wife more. She's warmed up to her lodger which was nice. And I liked the end scene with the whole family including the wayward son playing family football together.

Two more good scenes involved Simon. One where he was singing and was moved by his own emotions at the end similar to Gwen last week. The other where when Lou offered to removed difficult material from Spring Awakening (isn't that the whole play?) Simon insisted no and that's he counting on the director to keep the play in tact.

Another nice scene involved Robbie with his ailing mother. That was very quiet and well done.

I wish though the show almost entirely stuck to the production and then some related elements of the play itself acted out in the kids' real lives. Seriously I don't care which adult has an affair with which other adult or whether parents have objections to the play and their son's acting in it and then one parent reconsiders through handy responses by the director to grilling questions. More relevant was actually the fund raising cookie baking 'cause how else is this play being funded? Also I did like the prop discussion by the assistant director as a stroll through history, but I just don't like it when she and the director argue because unless it's over casting and blocking it's so unnecessary.

Maashous did get a promotion. He's on his way to becoming a director.

I wish the guy who has a crush on Simon had a story line that goes beyond staring and smiling and other limited responding.
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davidalan

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PostSubject: Re: Rise   Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:20 pm

The best episode by far. Even the adults were interesting. Maybe because their scenes were more genuine. Now if only they had an episode that just focused on rehearsing for Spring Awakening.
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davidalan

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PostSubject: Re: Rise   Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:34 pm

I guess this week's episode was trying to make points but parts just didn't ring true. I liked the singing at the end and the lead's mother showing up at rehearsal maybe to see her daughter for the first time as a separate person. I liked the coach's daughter and her scenes with the coach himself and the director's alcoholic son. He's also good btw. Quieter. Coming to some difficult conclusions in his own life.

Meanwhile I was annoyed with the set up for the male lead's quit the play or you don't qb. If the problem is he's not concentrating on his qb lines well enough, then yes bench him. But these adults annoy me when they pull him in two directions when last I heard the pre-college education system was meant for the growth of kids, not the punishment of them. These three people should have a conversation about what this kid wants, and if it's not realistic then point that out. And if the kid's worried about getting into a good football school, then how realistic that is should be examined too. My problem is that the show itself doesn't explore his motivations for being this play well enough to put both football and theater evenly. If the show stayed with the kids more, then this problem in perspective wouldn't be so obvious.

Meanwhile, the struggle of the gay kid accepting his own identity is annoying me. The storyline is becoming too pedestrian, too much into the drama of whether he'll go with the guy who likes him but who hardly has enough of a character presence to have any traction as a romantic interest. Meanwhile, the gay kid while struggling pursues a girl who clearly has a crush on him. This happens in real life, but I don't think this girl is all that imperceptive, and in real life would be wondering what this was all about. The gay kid's best friend tries to deter him from moving forward, and I wish she just would have said what she was thinking. That would have been the drama I'd want to see.

Then there was all this predicament about building the set, and then tearing down that idea because of expense, and then the town more or less coming together to bring in elements of the town as the set. This was all so clunky in its execution. I wish the whole thing could have been the homeless kid's (now assistant) task to figure out without all the director's miraculous revelation. Meanwhile the director keeps missing his family commitments, which doesn't interest me much, except that his wife is shining more in her smaller scenes and there was a very nice scene towards the end where the alcoholic son goes to her for the help he needs, and maybe that's her role right now: going to where she herself is needed. The director doesn't need her right now. She's merely home address applause.

I still wish the show was about the production. All this other stuff, whether presented well or not, is ultimately distracting. Maybe a structure focusing more on one kid character per episode would have been better. Instead, we get far too many stories elbowing one another for space.
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